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  • volunteering abroad travelling

    Hi,
    I enjoy being a pharmacist but am getting the itch to travel again and I don't want to miss out using my skills. I really would like to work abroad (rather than waitressing if I got stuck!) So I can still do the job I want to. However it is really hard to find out information on this. I wouldnt mind volunteering and am not worried about the pay packet as I am doing this more for experience and just cos I like being a pharmacist. (Am I crazy?!)
    Has anyone done anything like this working or volunteering abroad whilst travelling?
    I'm trying to find out some information before I plan my next trip. So I'd love to hear any of your stories.
    Also what did you tell your boss? - my last boss was quite understanding but now I have a new pharmacist manager job and I love it and really want to keep it but really want to travel too - I'm torn!
    Thanks in advance!

  • #2
    Re: volunteering abroad travelling

    You could ask to take a short career break like 3-6months. Most larger company's offer this such as tesco etc. Its known as a lifestyle break. Normally your job is protected when you return.

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    • #3
      Re: volunteering abroad travelling

      Perhaps you are a bit old for VSO.
      johnep

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      • #4
        Re: volunteering abroad travelling

        A colleague of mine joined VSO after retiring. Spent a couple of years, IIRC, in a hospital in East Africa. Then groups like Medecins sans Frontiers sometimes have pharmacy jobs, as do the Red Cross. Not sure whether 6 months secondment’s a runner, but no harm in asking. I was once offered a job with an oil company in Angola, but then the company pulled out because of the civil war! Point is, such companie’s have Health Centres for their staff and need pharmacists. Not a lot, but some. There’s the Army or the RAF, as well. Pharmacists get commissioned nowadays, whereas once upon a time Sergeant-Major was about the best you could do. I’m pretty sure the Reserves (TA, RAFVR) recruit pharmacists. Not sure about the Navy, but if you joined the TA (etc) you’d have to be given time off, and your job protected.
        Do cruise liners still have phaermacists; friend of mine spent two years doing that instead of National Service, but of course that was a long time ago!

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        • #5
          Re: volunteering abroad travelling

          friend of mine spent two years doing that instead of National Service, but of course that was a long time ago!
          If only I had known that was possible. Re VSO, you are correct and I was wrong. Met one or two retirees advising in Guyana and Belize..
          johnep

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          • #6
            Re: volunteering abroad travelling

            Originally posted by johnep View Post
            If only I had known that was possible. Re VSO, you are correct and I was wrong. Met one or two retirees advising in Guyana and Belize..
            johnep
            Merchant Navy as an option came in in the late 40's I think. Coal-mining was an option for a while after the war as well as during it I think

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            • #7
              Re: volunteering abroad travelling

              I told my wife this tonight and she was astonished. To think I actually used to visit the cruise ships in Tilbury to see the pharmacists (Stratheden and Strathmore). Had some great times when on board.
              johnep

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              • #8
                Re: volunteering abroad travelling

                Originally posted by johnep View Post
                I told my wife this tonight and she was astonished. To think I actually used to visit the cruise ships in Tilbury to see the pharmacists (Stratheden and Strathmore). Had some great times when on board.
                johnep
                Anyone know if they still do have pharmacists on cruise ships. Only done a couple of cruises so far and never seen one.

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                • #9
                  Re: volunteering abroad travelling

                  Originally posted by the old merlin View Post
                  . I’m pretty sure the Reserves (TA, RAFVR) recruit pharmacists. Not sure about the Navy, but if you joined the TA (etc) you’d have to be given time off, and your job protected.
                  I once got a long term locum when a hospital pharmacist who was in the TA got shipped off to Afghanistan....so yes the TA do take pharmacists and Center for defence medicine puts recruits through all sorts of training schemes at the QE so you find army personnel in all areas including pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, nurses, doctors,. ODPs.....

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                  • #10
                    Re: volunteering abroad travelling

                    Originally posted by Dragonlady View Post
                    I once got a long term locum when a hospital pharmacist who was in the TA got shipped off to Afghanistan....so yes the TA do take pharmacists and Center for defence medicine puts recruits through all sorts of training schemes at the QE so you find army personnel in all areas including pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, nurses, doctors,. ODPs.....
                    I would have loved to have gone into the Army but they wouldn't look at me because of having crohns. I did enjoy being in the cadets though, and going to camp, where I was the most improved cadet of the week. That might have been because I was the most scared of doing anything cadet that they had ever had, and I to be coaxed through every activity! I loved abseiling though.

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                    • #11
                      Re: volunteering abroad travelling

                      Being in the TA was an option when I was a student; anyone who signed up would get a commission, although not then as pharmacist, when doing National Service. However, while the idea of going to far distant lands and meeting new and different people and cultures appealed to me, the idea of shooting the people didn't.

                      Especially when all they were fighting for was independence.
                      Last edited by the old merlin; 26, March 2016, 07:44 PM. Reason: Explanatory

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                      • #12
                        Re: volunteering abroad travelling

                        I was offered a commission in the TA Army Field Hospital but I opted for a straight salary. BOOM BOOM! But seriously, a pharmacist in the field hospital is responsible for the procurement for anything medical required in the hospital from a packet of stitches to a mobile CAT Scanner, very interesting work. You also get taught to be a soldier first and how to dismantle a rifle, first thing you do when you capture a POW just in case they get their hands back on it and run amok around the camp but I don't really think this is what you had in mind.

                        A colleague of mine went to Peru working voluntarily running a contraceptive clinic for the Inca tribes. She never came back, think she married one of the cheiftans.

                        There is also the Peace Corps but they are more American Based and a bit holy willy if I remember.

                        Do you know any medics and dentists? They have to do an elective in final year of Uni and most of them end up in the furthest corners of the globe doing voluntary work in hospitals and clinics, maybe they could advise you on how they go about it. Haiti after the earthquake was crying out for medical staff.

                        Try googling pharmacist jobs in Bermuda, they used to advertise in the PJ for people to work there, I think it is called Phoenix pharmacy, they have a chain of store throughout the island with tax free salaries. They all accept UK and US registered pharmacists, one of the few places that recognises both qualifications.

                        Hope this helps

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                        • #13
                          Re: volunteering abroad travelling

                          I used to work voluntarily in hospitals in the rural areas of the Guárico Estate in Venezuela and managed to set up a Diabetes clinic. Until I got accused of being a spy working for the Empire and had to leave the country.

                          There are loads of voluntary positions throughout the Amazon basin due to the zika outbreak. Also, the tribes around the Orinoco delta could do with help in raising the awareness of the use of condoms since there's been an outbreak of AIDS that's really dwindling their numbers.

                          The WHO, in their LatAm version, used to offer jobs to help the tribes in the Panama jungle use oral contraceptives. Tax free and lots of other extras.

                          Also, a few years ago, a Scottish (I think) lass set up her own pharmacy in Turks & Caicos and was recruiting.

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                          • #14
                            Re: volunteering abroad travelling

                            Try googling pharmacist jobs in Bermuda, they used to advertise in the PJ for people to work there, I think it is called Phoenix pharmacy, they have a chain of store throughout the island with tax free salaries. They all accept UK and US registered pharmacists, one of the few places that recognises both qualifications.
                            Yes, I met several when in Bermuda acting as a rep. Our agent at the time was Lowe's Pharmacy. The expats had a great time sailing and scuba diving. I started at the main hotel, then at the Yacht club.
                            Not possible to rent a car so had a scooter. I still wear the Bermuda shorts I bought for $10 at Smiths. They are tailored and look reasonably smart. However, I preferred to spend week ends at Miami.
                            johnep

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                            • #15
                              This is a very old thread. Will keep an eye on this one. Link looks OK.
                              johnep

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